The restaurant business is a notoriously tricky one, with high failure rates — experts say between 60 to 80 percent — and many new restaurants closing within the first year.

But one woman has managed to build up a successful restaurant empire, King Parrot Group, that includes over 40 restaurants employing over 1,000 people in one of the food capitals of the world.

When Anna Chau started in the industry, Hong Kong featured primarily Chinese restaurants; foreign cuisines were limited to mainly French and Italian.

Today, the travel book Fodor says that no other city boasts “quite as eclectic a dining scene as the one in Hong Kong.” And in their 2013 guide, Michelin inspectors said that they found many new stars in the city, as well as a wide variety of restaurants offering many different styles of cooking.

Chau was pivotal in opening up Hong Kong’s culinary scene — with her first endeavor she brought Spanish food to the island in the form of El Cid, a restaurant she opened in 1992. Russian, Thai, Lebanese and many more types of cuisines and styles of cooking have followed.

So how has Chau succeed in a highly competitive industry that requires incredibly long days, constant cash flow and extremely high staff turnover?

Watch Chau in action in the video profile above!

Editor’s Note: The Story Exchange is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching the annual Women In Science Incentive Prize. Apply now for a chance to receive $5,000 in funding for your climate-related research or startup. Deadline: July 31. 

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